Novinsky stripped of the Parliamentary immunity
On Thursday December 8, Ukrainian MPs supported the submission of the Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko to sanction the prosecution of MP Vadim Novinsky in the case of unlawful imprisonment of the personal secretary of the late Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan) - Archbishop Oleksandr (Drabynko).
More information on the case can be found on RISU. It should be noted that the submission of the Prosecutor General is aimed at getting the possibility to continue investigative actions, to which the parliamentary status of Novinsky is an obstacle. To obtain consent, first the case should be considered by the regulatory committee and then passed it along with the committee’s opinion for vote in Parliament.
The Regulatory Committee has initially postponed the decision, citing the need for more information. After receiving the necessary documents, the Committee issued a negative opinion on the case, but under the law it was still handed over to the parliament chamber. Next, the case was studied by the Speaker of Parliament. It is up to the Speaker of Parliament to decide whether the case would be examined in the parliament chamber, or be returned to the Prosecutor General.
Andriy Parubiy adopted a positive decision and therefore included consideration of the proposal on the agenda, scheduling its consideration for Thursday morning. This case was considered the first on the agenda, and the discussion process lasted almost two hours.
When delivering their speeches, leaders of almost all parliamentary factions supported the presentation and assured that their faction would vote in favor. Some MP groups and a part of majoritarian MPs refused to support. It is noteworthy that Vadim Novinsky himself repeatedly emphasized that he was not guilty and therefore would vote in favor of bringing himself to justice, to prove in court his own rightness, but today failed to fulfil his own promise.
Interestingly enough, during the discussion of the issue, the allegations against the Prosecutor General were voiced stating that his employees were allegedly interfering in the affairs of the Church, investigating the intervention of the former government in the affairs of the Church.
Thus, the submission of the Prosecutor General was supported by 228 deputies, with 226 votes in favor, 31 votes against (mostly members of the Opposition Bloc - Novinsky party fellows), and 5 more MPs abstained from voting.
As reported, recently a lot of interesting journalistic material appeared about the personality of Vadim Novinsky, his impact on the UOC and the implications of his activities for the latter.